gambling restrictions

Swedish government to extend current gambling restrictions

The Swedish government has drafted a proposal to extend and tighten the current gambling restrictions in the country. This decision follows on from increasing concerns about the coronavirus pandemic and how this might impact vulnerable consumers prone to problem gambling.

New regulations could last until June 2021

The government’s proposal will see the existing gambling restrictions extended until June 2021. Some of the current rules and regulations include a deposit cap of 5000kr (Swedish krona) for online casino games. There is also talk of implementing a mandatory limit on customer playing time and preventing operators from offering casino bonuses that go over 100kr.

“We see that the development of COVID-19 is going in the wrong direction in several parts of the country,” said Ardalan Shekarabi, Minister of Social Insurance. “The situation is very serious. In the wake of the pandemic, we see continued risks in the area of ​​gambling, which means that we need to act to reduce the risks for vulnerable consumers.”

More harm than good for problem gamblers

These proposed gambling restrictions have already received a backlash from the iGaming industry. When the regulations were first introduced back in July, the European Betting and Gaming Association (EBGA) was quick to criticise them – pointing out they could actually cause problem and clandestine gambling to rise.

“Many Swedes are already gambling on unlicensed websites and these restrictions will make unlicensed websites – which don’t apply any limits – even more attractive to them,” said Maarten Haijer (Secretary-General of the EGBA) of the gambling restrictions in July.

“We must remember gambling is human behaviour, consumers will always make their own choices and top-down regulation rarely works. In this case, it could have detrimental or counterproductive effects by pushing more gambling onto unregulated websites.”

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